MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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SPECIALISING IN THE UNUSUAL - WHETHER IT BE VILLAGE POSTMARKS, THE UNEXPECTED WITH BASIC STAMPS, UNUSUAL POSTAL HISTORY, OR EXCEPTIONAL QV COVERS



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GREAT BRITAIN to INDIA postal history combination
1864 cover marked "via Marseilles and Bombay" to Charles Norman Pochin (1826-1870, East India Company Official), Madras c/o forwarders Arbuthnot & Co with GB QV 1d, 4d, 6d tied Bath "53" duplex dated I/NO 3 64, on arrival India QV 2a yellow added tied both ARBUTHNOT & Co company handstamp and MADRAS "1" duplex dated DE 6 for re-direction to Chiglepett, b/stamped red CHIGLEPUT DE 6 dbl-arc arrival clear of missing side flap.
£425


DOUBLE RATE TO ITALY with SINGLE RATE ACCOUNTANCY HANDSTAMP ERROR, MALTA postal history
1871 wrapper with J. BORGES DA SILVA/MALTA sender's cachet to Livorno, Italy with double rate paid by pair GB QV 1d Plate 111, pair QV 3d Plate 6 pmk'd Malta "A25" duplex dated B/AP 28 71 showing red handstruck "2 3/4" accountancy reserved for single weight letters (the double rate was applied as "5˝" in blue manuscript as no handstruck instrument was made).
£275

BAHAMAS postal history (Ex AYRE)
1873 mourning cover to Miss Kate B. Gaul, Hudson, Columbus County, New York with pair Chalon QV 4d dull lake (SG.26) pair pmk'd "A05" showing N. YORK/FEB 15/STEAMSHIP cds and "Due 6" handstamp, reverse Bahamas FE 10 1873/A despatch dbl-arc clear of missing flap. 1972 BPA certificate. Ex AYRE.
£625


INCORRECT VICTORIAN GRAMMAR on PREPARATION PROOF SHEET with UNISSUED VERTICAL LINED PAPER
1866 QV 1d pale rose INLAND REVENUE on UNISSUED vertical laid paper stamps, a generally fine and fresh IMPERFORATE complete sheet of twelve stamps showing the two units of six stamps laid down and aligned for printing purposes (unlike BADLY ALIGNED Sheet 256) within the full marginal inscriptions including One Penny Each - One Shilling per Sheet. at base (changed on issued sheets) on gummed paper sheet numbered 258 at top left. Some slight creasing. Note: The initial delivery is thought to be Sheets 1 to 250 making a total of 3,000 stamps being issued on horizontal laid paper with base inscription reading One Penny each - One Shilling per Sheet. - the change from Each to each being made at preparation stage due Victorians being fussy about incorrect grammar. Only three imperforate sheets (numbered 256,257,258) are currently known with the original "Each" setting, and each showing differing adjustments to the lining up of the two units. Morley in 1910 reported the existence of these stamps on vertical laid paper but both Britnor (1965) and Robson Lowe (1990) were unable to confirm their existance in their handbooks. Sheets 251 to 260 are therefore printer’s unissued preparation sheets. The "Each" error was not noticed by philatelists until 2001 (135 years later!).
£1500


Mail to the "U.S.S. Michigan" (Fenian Raids/Canada), MALTA postal history
1872 cover marked "Via Italy & Germany" to a U.S. Naval Lieutenant on the U.S.S. Michigan, Erie, Pennsylvania with GB QV 1d, 3d, 6d pmk'd Malta "A25" duplex dated B/NO 18 72 showing London Paid (NO 26) but without arrival backstamps, small corner fault.
U.S.S. Michigan was the first iron-hulled ship in the U.S. Navy and was built in response to the British Government arming two steamers in response to the Canadian rebellion in the late 1830's and operated on the Great Lakes out of Erie, Pennsylvania. Irish immigrants in the Fenian Brotherhood, after the American Civil War, saw their opportunity to attack the British Empire at their weakest point on the borders with Canada, and seize a sufficient portion of Canada to form a belligerent government recognised by the United States. In early June 1866, 850 Fenians led by Col. John O'Neill crossed the Niagara River. Battles with Canadian Volunteer Forces and British regiments were fought at Ridgeway and Fort Erie, and with some 2,000 to 3,000 re-inforcements unable to cross from Buffalo the raid was effectively over. In 1866 the 'Michigan' intercepted and interned the army of the Fenian Brotherhood as it returned from its invasion of Canada near Buffalo (see pages 82-83 of enclosed book).
£625






GOVERNOR to 69th (Fenian Raids/Canada) now protecting HM Dockyard, BERMUDA postal history
THE ONLY RECORDED GOVERNOR POST FREE COVER DURING THE PRE-UPU PERIOD: 1872 stampless cover marked "Governor" pmk'd HAMILTON (H1) A/NO 8 72 cds locally addressed to Major J. Smyth, 69 Regiment, Boaz, sealed opening tears at right.
Major Smith (also known as Major Smyth) and the 69th are mentioned Page 166 in "The Last Invasion of Canada" (book enclosed) and in more detail in "Records of the Sixty-Ninth by Major Smyth" (book also enclosed) as helping to defeat a Fenian Raid at The Battle of Trout River May 27th 1870. By 1871 the Fenians were a spent force, and the fragments of what had been a formidable organisation gave up the idea of invading Canada. The 69th Foot infantry regiment (The South Lincolnshire Regiment) arrived from Canada, and after a short posting from November 1871 on Boaz Island to help protect HM Dockyard, Bermuda were sent to Gibraltar in 1873. HM Dockyard, the Bermuda Floating Dock, having been constructed at Woolwich, England was towed to Bermuda arriving July 28th 1869.
£375




Proofed/unrecorded ERRONEOUSLY APPLIED unique TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE,CEYLON postal history
1845 wrapper from C. Brun fils, Port Louis pmk'd red MAURITIUS POST OFFICE d/ring dated NO 05 1845 marked "via Ceylon" to Veillon Freres, Bordeaux, France with "Paid 1/8" in dark black ink most unusually landed on Ceylon's north east coast (instead of the southern port of Galle) showing prepared for application TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamp for NO 22 1845 erroneously applied, crossed through, and TRINCOMALEE/STEAMER LETTER added for the next day in the same coloured ink. Carried via ALEXANDRIA (JA 7 1846) with 25mm chisels slits and large part PURIFIE AU LAZERET/MALTE handstamp added showing red PAQ. ANG. MARSEILLES (16 JANV 46) on address panel and Bordeaux (10 JANV 46) arrival backstamp with 96 decimes to be collected. Exhibition item collecting cancellations from five different countries.
Similar RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamps were proofed for other Ceylon towns but none are known used. This remarkable example only exists due being wrongly applied.
£7250


BAHAMAS postal history (Ex Ludington)
1884 mourning cover to New York City with Chalon QV 4d tied vertical "B" obliterator with A/BAHAMAS/JA 29 84 on reverse, showing landed NORFOLK, Va FEB 4 with framed "SHIP" and handstruck "Due 4" in turquoise and handstruck "DUE" in black appended "4", reverse with U.S. 2c brown Postage Due pair cancelled in blue ink. Slightly soiled. Ex LUDINGTON.
Three Chalon 4d covers pmk'd Bahamas JA 29 84 are known landed Norfolk, Va FEB 4. The other two to Oswego County, New York and Denver, Colorado. They all have the same arrival markings but the above is the only one of the three with the additional "Due 4" in turquoise ink.
£425



PSRE from COUVA with REGISTRATION NOT ACTIVATED, Trinidad postal history
1890 use of QV 2d PSRE with added QV 4d grey, pair QV 6d olive-black (SG.110,111) pmk'd COUVA B/NO 6 90 to Bishop Auckland, England arriving A/NO 20 90 being an extremely rare example of quadruple 4d postage but due failure to transit through Port Of Spain (circumstances of interruption not yet established) the 2d registration fee could not be employed resulting in there being no Head Office transit cds, no registration label affixed by Port of Spain, and no hooded REGISTERED LONDON transit cds being all the requirements of secure mail.
Mail left Port of Spain NO 6 1890, arrived Barbados NO 8 1890, arrived Plymouth NO 19 1890 as per RMSP homeward schedule attached.
£350

Manuscript "Nicholls Town Andros", Bahamas postal history
1925 commercial cover to Messrs. W. Barratt & Co. Ltd., Boot Manufacturers, "Footshape" Works, Northampton with KGV 1d pmk'd blue manuscript "20/8/25 Nicholls Town Andros" and further two KGV 1d tied Nassau 25 AU 25 cds, reverse Northampton reg. oval 7 SP 25 arrival.
£350

ST. VINCENT postal history
1886 cover with printed sender's initials flap to S. Chapman, West Hampstead, London with the 4d rate most unusually paid by QV ˝d green strip of three, QV 2˝d on 1d lake (SG.47,40) tied Kingstown C/MY 6 86 cds, alongside a fine strike of a PML handbook unlisted boxed "TOO LATE" (34 x 8˝mm, low cross-bar in "A").
£825

BAHAMAS postal history
1868 cover to Henry Dunn, New York with QV 4d Chalon tied "A05" with fine BAHAMAS OC 17 1868/C dbl-arc on upper flap which can fully display showing NEW YORK OCT 25 arrival with "3" due. Handstruck "CANNOT BE FOUND" and NEW YORK POST OFFICE/OCT 30/ADVERTISED oval with New York NOV 30 return cds on reverse.
£525


QUEENSLAND postal history
1875 Wagstaff family cover from California with U.S. 3c x 2, 10c tied segmented cork cancels with adjacent red SAN FRANCISCO PAID cds dated MAR 8 and marked "per City of Melbourne Ship" to John Wagstaff, Agricultural (Station?), Rockhampton, Queensland forwarded with tied Queensland QV 2d blue to Lily Vale via Gainsford, backstamped Brisbane AP 5 75 with Rockhampton AP 9 75 arrival and forwarded Rockhampton AP 22 75 with Lilly Vale MY 3 1875 arrival. An exceptional combination.
On JA 1 1874 the rate to all Australian Colonies, New Zealand and Fiji was reduced to 2d.
£3000


MAIL TO THE WRITER OF THE WHITE HORSES OF WILTSHIRE, Canada postal history
1868 cover to The Reverend W. Ch. Plenderleath (1831-1906), Cherhill Rectory, Calne, Wiltshire with QV 12˝c tied Quebec oval of bars with cds dated FE 1 68, reverse very fine Chippenham A/FE 21 68 arrival. Accompanied by good condition copy of his illustrated book.
Travelled by Allen Line "S.S. Austria" sailing from Portland FE 9 68 arriving Liverpool FE 20 68.
£225



MAIL TO CRIMEAN WAR GENERAL WHO INVENTED A HEATED CANNONBALL AS A BED-WARMER, Canada postal history
1863 cover to General Higginson, 9 Wilton Crescent, London with QV 12˝c tied Montreal duplex dated AP 17 63.
Grenadier Guards General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson was born in Wilton Crescent Belgravia and during the Crimean War improvised a bed-warmer for the freezing nights by heating up a cannonball in the campfire.
£225







THE UNIQUE B.W.I. "DOUBLE COUNTRY" JAMAICA and BAHAMAS SAILOR'S CONCESSIONARY RATE ENTIRE
1835 entire "From Alexander Spain on board His Majestys Brig Wasp" to his sister Charlotte Spain in Southampton countersigned on face by J.N. Syke, Lt. Acting Commanding Officer with "Paid 1" in horizontal oval and matching red ink LIVERPOOL AP 14 1835 arrival backstamp. Written at Port Royal, Jamaica 12th February, travelled with him to Belize, with cross-written finish at Nassau, Bahamas 12th March with "since writing the first part we have been with troops to Honduras in New Spain and thence to this place on the same errand". Opening tear into address panel hardly detracts, some small internal splits but clean with delightful content including mention of fond memories of picking buttercups and daisies on their way to school.
No privilege rate countersigned pre-stamp Sailor's letters are currently recorded from Jamaica (which is quite extraordinary for such a large island) or the Bahamas, and the only two recorded entires as such for the B.W.I. group, are from Antigua (HMS Pique MY 26 1845) with rate paid by attached sewn 1d coin, and 1d paid from Alexander to his sister Charlotte Spain on the Wasp while again at Belize 30 June landed Dartmouth 29 August 1835. The "Wasp" was built during 1811-12 and at this time was on duty on the North America and West Indies station with 85 officers and men, 24 boys, 20 marines. Alexander Spain was a first class boy waiting to be rated. He mentions homecoming in about 20 months - the Wasp arrived Portsmouth 15 April 1837 having left Jamaica 11 February but during a gale on 4 April she lost her foremast and straps plus her bowsprit during a mid-Atlantic collision with the Elizabeth due poor visibility.
£2800

RIVERTON, NEW ZEALAND to INDIA postal history
1866 cover to Grindlay & Co., Calcutta with QV 2d strip of three, 6d pmk'd "6" with RIVERTON MR 16 1866 despatch alongside, reverse Invercargill MR 16 66 and Calcutta AP 28 1866 arrival.
£1625




BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION label to CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, British Guiana postal history
1925 reg. cover with full letter from W.A. Husbands on Victory Philatelic Society letterhead paper to Queenstown, Cape Province, South Africa with KGV 1c x 2, 2c x 2, 2c War Tax, 5c lightly pmk'd Registration */14 JY 25 cds, reverse with BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION label tied QUEENSTOWN R.L.S. 14 AUG 25 d/ring.
The label is perforated both vertical sides and shows broken top to "H" in "BRITISH".
£825




Bootheel "11" used ST. LUCY, Barbados postal history
1875 local cover to Mrs Boyce, Mrs Hinkson's residence, Middle Street, (Bridgetown) with 1d deep blue (SG.66) tied bootheel "11" backstamped 11/AP 6 75 (M2-O, wording set close to rim) 19mm cds clear of central reverse faults.
Currently only two covers are recorded with bootheel "11", the M2-O (original) 19mm cds replaced by a 21mm M2-R (replacement, wording set further from rim) cds (as illustrated alongside loose QV 1d in the attached scan).
£950

THE SIEGE OF PARIS, TWO MILLION LETTERS CARRIED OUT, NONE TAKEN IN, St. Vincent postal history
1870 cover to the Duc de Polignac, Paris, France but due the siege re-directed to the small hamlet of St. Jean du Cardonnay par Maromme, Seine Inferieure (near Rouen, 87 miles north west of Paris) with QV 4d yellow, 1/- indigo tied vertical "A10" with weak ST. VINCENT A/OC 10 70 despatch and both London Paid 31 OC 70 and Calais 1 NOV 70 transits, reverse with Paris Au Havre and Maromme 17 NOV 70 and Maromme 18 NOV 70 arrivals. During the Franco-Prussian War the French capital was surrounded by the Prussians and the Siege of Paris began SP 17 1870 and lasted until an Armistice was arranged on FE 28 1871. There were over two million mouths to feed in Paris as the number of armed forces and inhabitants had been swelled by an influx of foreigners, refugees and outsiders. French aeronauts quickly suggested to the postal authorities that balloons should be used to maintain communication with the provisonal government in Tours and beyond. 67 balloons took off from Paris during the siege of which 58 landed safely, more than two million pieces of mail were carried to places all over the world with prized items marked “Par Ballon Monte” existing to destinations as far as Mauritius, Hong Kong, and Japan. There was no mail by incoming balloon, and any incoming communication could only be received by carrier pigeon. Balloon “Neptune” is considered the first official flight on 23 SP 1870 and the last balloon, the 67th flight, was named “General Cambronne” honouring the general who during the battle of Waterloo screamed the word “Merde” at his British opponents.
The previous five letters (JU 25, JY 9, JY 25, AU 10, AU 25 1870) all reached the Duc of Polignac at his Paris address, obviously due to distance Polignac's estate writer in St. Vincent was unaware that Paris had become inaccessible.
£2400
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